Proanthocyanidins reduce cellular function in the most globally diagnosed cancers in vitro

PeerJ. 2020 Sep 15:8:e9910. doi: 10.7717/peerj.9910. eCollection 2020.


Background: Growing evidence indicates that proanthocyanidins (PACs) may be effective in treating and preventing various cancers. The fundamental mechanism of PACs inhibiting the proliferation at cellular and molecular levels in most of the cancer types remains unclear.

Objective: The anticancer efficacy of PACs was investigated in vitro using three human cancer cell lines: human colorectal adenocarcinoma (HT-29), human breast carcinoma (MCF-7), and human prostatic adenocarcinoma (PC-3).

Methods: Cytotoxicity was evaluated by MTT assay, while cell proliferation was measured by trypan blue exclusion method. Cell migration was measured by wound healing assay, and DAPI staining was used to evaluate apoptotic nucleus morphology. RT-PCR was used to analyze the expression of Bax and Bcl-2, and caspase enzyme activity assay was measured by caspase colorimetric assay.

Results: PACs could inhibit both cellular viability and proliferation in a concentration- and time-dependent fashion in all investigated cells. Further, all tested cells showed similarly decreased migration after 24- and 48-h PAC treatment. We observed increased apoptotic nucleus morphology in treated cells (p ≤ 0.01). BAX expression significantly increased in HT-29 (p < 0.01), PC-3(p < 0.01), and MCF-7 (p < 0.05) cells, while BCL-2 expression significantly declined (p < 0.05). Caspase activities were significantly increased in all tested cancer cell lines after 24-h PAC treatment.

Conclusion: PACs may have potential therapeutic properties against colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer.

Keywords: Anticancer; Human breast carcinoma; Human colorectal adenocarcinoma; Human prostatic adenocarcinoma; In vitro; Proanthocyanidins.

Grants and funding

The author received no funding for this work. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.